Jamaica was inhabited by Arawak natives when Christopher Columbus arrived at the island. He claimed the island for Spain and Spain ruled it until 1655, when England claimed the island in a raid. Population of Arawak natives drastically declined within only a few decades after the arrival of Columbus due to the epidemic brought from Europe together with Spain’s harsh policies of enslavement. Spain secured the workforce in sugarcane plantations by importing enslaved Africans. Spain. In 1670, England took formal control of Jamaica by the treaty of Madrid between England and Spain. Jamaica became a base for buccaneers operation. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the racial tensions increased, causing a number of slave uprisings in Jamaica. In 1865, Morant Bay rebellion broke out, which was brutally suppressed. Jamaica became a Crown colony and the condition was improved. People's National Party was established in 1938 and Jamaica Labour Party in 1943. The Federation of the West Indies was created in 1958. Jamaica joined the federation but withdrew from it in 1961. Jamaica gained independence in 1962. Tourism and mining are the leading source of revenue.
Here I joined a tour which offered an exchange party with Montego Bay Boys and Girls Club. We had lunch in the facility next to the kindergarten. One of the local specialty “Jerk chicken”, which was grilled on the ground by the club members, was served in lunch. It was delicious cooked with spices.
Montego Bay seemed to be more like a resort than a place for sightseeing. The contents of the tours Montego Bay offered were mainly outdoor activities to enjoy its beautiful nature such as rafting and hiking.
I visited a flee market with a maze of 50 to 60 small shops selling souvenirs such as wood carving folk crafts, accessories with the Rastafarian color and pencils having the mark of “Made in China” which was tried to erase with a marker pen. Prices were not as low as in the Middle East. A small beaded bracelet cost three dollars. When I said, “Too expensive”, the price was discounted to one dollar at once, and finally to “Your price”, which reminded me of a peddler in Egypt.
Hair braiding women were shouting “braids, braids.” I learned later that there were schools to teach them how to braid the hair. Actually, their braiding speed was fast. They were good hands at braiding hairs. They braided the hair to the very end and completed the braid with beads on the ends. Each hair braiding woman seemed to be particular about the style she made. I told a woman who braided my hair that I wanted to have my hair braided partially, but she seemed not to like to leave part of my hair undone. In the end, she braided all my hair.
*DMC-ZS10/TZ20 records images in max.14-megapixel and DMC-ZS7/TZ10 in max.12-megapixel.